Trolls in the Hamptons: A Willow Tate Novel Mass Market Paperback – 2 Nov 2010
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About the Author
Celia Jerome lives in Paumanok Harbor near the tip of Long Island, New York. She believes in magic, yard sales, and small dogs.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
One day she has a great idea for a new story and starts sketching. Imagine her horror when the hero of her story - an enormous red troll - starts smashing cars and fire hydrants outside of her window. Everyone can see the destruction, but no one but Willow can see the troll. That's why she keeps mum when a sexy cop knocks on her door asking for her statement. Soon the red troll starts following Willow around, causing mayhem wherever he pops up. What does he want and how can she get rid of him?
Because of the official synopsis and the cover I expected more humor, more action and less romantic entanglements from this story.
The story is mildly funny, but doesn't invite real laughter.
Willow is portrayed as an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances - action scenes are not her forte. She witnesses a few of them (destruction caused by the troll), but doesn't get involved. She is a passive type of character, who tends to react instead of taking matters into her own hands. Unfortunately this character trait results in a lack of tension - near the end things get more interesting, though.
I was surprised by the amount of attention paid to Willow's love life. First there is her boring, but safe (ex)boyfriend, then the sexy cop, who shows her, what her relationship is lacking. Finally sparks fly when she meets the sexy british agent, but she doesn't know whether she should trust him. I'm not a romance reader, though I enjoy romantic subplots. This was too much for me. The yes-no-yes-no-I-can't-trust-you game and the constantly wet panties drove me crazy. If I had known that Celia Jerome is the pseudonym of Barbara Metzger, an elderly (maybe sixty-something) romance author, I would have known what to expect.
There are things I enjoyed in TROLLS IN THE HAMPTONS.
Willow Tate might not be an exciting protagonist, but Jerome portrays her as sympathetic and believable. Her abilities are not well explained in this novel, but there's potential for further development.
I liked Willow's eccentric family. Everyone has small magical gifts, that Willow is used to rationalizing.
The setting - Manhattan and the Hamptons - is very vivid. Things are mentioned that only natives would know - something that I miss in other paranormal series, where the authors know their cities on a superficial level only.
Picking up this book I had certain expectations and they weren't met. Of course I was disappointed, but that doesn't mean that TROLLS IN THE HAMPTONS is a bad book. Should I choose to read the next instalments in the series, I'd be better prepared and I'd probably enjoy them more.
Willow Tate Novels: Trolls in the Hamptons, Night Mares in the Hamptons, Fire Works in the Hamptons, Life Guards in the Hamptons, Sand Witches in the Hamptons, ...
Via a sexy British representative of a hush-hush Department of Unexplained Events, Willow learns she's a Visualizer, someone who can bring a fantasy world alive. And, though desperately reluctant, she becomes involved with a kidnapped child, a boy Agent Grant tells her is being forced to break the barriers between the magic world and the human world. The more Willow tries to ignore the threat, the more it is brought home to her.
This is pleasant fantasy fluff with a strong romance novel element (Chapter 24 has a really steamy sex scene). Willow is a plucky but flawed heroine, Grant lends the proper male romance counterpart, and there are some funny quirky characters, including Willow's crusty mother, the deceptive "super" of the apartment building across the street from Willow's apartment, and even a three-legged Pomeranian. I'll definitely pick up the sequel, but be warned: if you're looking for hard fantasy, this isn't it.
The cover for this book is great! Combined with the title, it looks like a light and probably funny read. Well, I got the light part right. I was expecting more humor from this book but that didn't happen. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it by any means. I was just a little let down because it wasn't real funny. I do see the humor in having a comic come to life but otherwise this ended up being more of a romance than I expected.
Willow sees the giant red troll she has just drawn walking around her New York neighborhood street wrecking havoc and playing in the water of a broken fire hydrant is just the start of goofy things that happen in this book. Come to find out, Willow is some sort of magic user that has been part of her family for...forever. And it gets better, her grandmother who is considered a witch, really is a witch and so are most of the people in her home of Paumanok Harbor. I liked Willow's little awakening to how the things she found typical growing up are really due to the magic powers of those around her. Her mother really can communicate with animals and she isn't crazy. I liked this element in the book.
Grant is the love interest in the book and I wasn't thrilled with him. He was almost a little too wimpy for me and considering I didn't consider Willow a force to be reckoned with both main character can off a little weak. In general through, I enjoyed their story. The action was what moved this story forward for me and I can be happy with that.
While not perfect, Trolls in the Hamptons was a fun and light read. It gets 3.5 Stars.
Now, I'm not saying this book was the best one I've read in a while, this is clearly if not Ms. Jerome's debut novel, then one of her first, but she has potential and I'm will to wait for her to truly come into her own. The plot is tied up a bit hastily and the villainous characters seems thrown in at the last minute and entirely two-dimensional besides. There's also the fact the dialog feels rather choppy because the characters don't use contractions as consistently as they probably would. The lack of contractions is almost impossible in modern dialog and it jerked me out of the story, so I don't really understand why Ms. Jerome did it (Is it a personal preference? But everyone uses contractions when speaking. It's a dialectic trait of Americans). Agent Grant didn't sound British to me, either. I understand it's a bit difficult to convey an accent in writing, but he sometimes used American slang when speaking and it didn't really fit with his "upper-class British" motif. The romance as well--it was cute and I enjoyed it, but I'd have liked for it to be less filled with declarations of love and more points of tension and wondering about whether or not this was a good idea, as well as wondering just what was going on between them. Even at the end--their break up seemed a bit forced (though reasonable in its own way).
As with every new story, there were issues with certain aspects, but please don't view my personal issues as a deal-breaker for this book. I truly enjoyed Willow's story and I'm looking forward to the sequel (Night Mares in the Hamptons to be released on May 3rd). If you're looking for a genuinely real character, one that you can relate to for her scared-y cat realism but with an inner courage even she doesn't know about, then I suggest this book. It's a good one and as a possible upcoming series it certainly has a lot of potential to continue to grow.
Make no mistake, the plot itself is a tribute to the author's imagination. The alterate world she creates for her story shows more than mere imagination: Her alternate world is a work of genius.
At the same time, she writes with command and knowledge. Her voice is lively and modern.
Sadly, I have been to the hospital she incorporates into her story; I have lived in Manhattan. Jerome gets it all, the rhythms and those "only in New York" moments. These moments are other than those involving the troll, of course, which has never visited the city. (At least, it's never visited the city as far as I'm aware.)
I can say, quite definitively, that Jerome's sense of place concerning The Hamptons is all-encompassing, probably exceeding my own.
Between the Manhattan scenes and the Hamptons ones, TROLLS OF THE HAMPTONS manages -- effortlessly, I suspect -- to be quite a travelogue as well. The book is eye-opening about paranormal powers and the possibility of alternate universes. Not only is the plot lively but so, too, is the dialogue.
Despite the somewhat odd theme, this entire work of fiction seems totally plausible, except, perhaps, for the hero. In classic romance style, he is far too perfect. (And it must be said: Coney Island is in New York City's borough of Brooklyn, not Queens.)
Despite how authoritative her prose is, author Jerome apparently is new to the publishing world. I am eager to read the sequel to TROLLS IN THE HAMPTONS to see where she takes the series.